Radiant orthoclase gemstone.
Embrace inner strength with radiant Orthoclase.

Orthoclase: Gemstone Information

Orthoclase is a component of many rocks and is typically found in acidic and alkaline igneous rocks particularly in granite pegmatites and syenites. It also occurs in Alpine-type metamorphic rocks and hydrothermal veins – additionally as detrital grains in placers deposits. In Madagascar, the gemmy ‘orthoclase’ found in pegmatite veins associated with medium to coarse grained marble lenses has since been found by X-RD to be high to low sanidine.

Orthoclase is one of the most common minerals and is found worldwide; however, it is very rare to find orthoclase as transparent gem-quality crystals. Only a few notable localities are mentioned: The gem gravels of Myanmar and Sri Lanka Similar produce similar material. Much adularia is found in the Alps in Switzerland, especially at Adular, the locality this variety was named after. ‘Carlsbad Twins’ are famous from Carlsbad, Czechoslovakia and fine ‘Baveno’ twins have come from Baveno, Italy. Large, well-formed crystals were found in Disentis, Switzerland.

Light blue crystals occur in the Lake Baikal area in Russia, and in Udacha, Russia, yellow-brown transparent orthoclase up to 8–10 cm is known. Large masses occur on Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. In the USA, enormous crystals were found on Sandia Mountain, Bernalillo Co, New Mexico. Famous collector specimens have come from Robinson, Colorado and Good springs, Clark Co., Nevada. Orthoclase has also come from the French Creek mine, St. Peters, Chester Co., Pennsylvania. Much adularia moonstone has come from New Mexico. Brazil pegmatites, some K-feldspar (potassium-feldspar) crystals, roughly 3 m long have been reported. Brownish transparent crystals around 5 cm have been reported from Greenland.

Opaque to translucent, rarely transparent

• Luster: Vitreous but may be pearly on cleavage surfaces.
• Color: Commonly colorless and champagne to yellow but also pink, orange, light blue, light green, brown and grey. Massive orthoclase is generally white or pale pink in colour. Predominantly, opaque green orthoclase (monoclinic) with minor ruby inclusions from the Luc Yen area, Vietnam, has been reported. The colour is attributed to its high lead content (0.5wt% PbO). Some translucent and transparent pieces have been polished. White plagioclase with ruby inclusions has also been reported from Myanmar.

• Varieties:  Adularia – A moderate to low temperature, more completely ordered orthoclase. It is weakly triclinic (formerly regarded as apparently monoclinic) and typically occurs in well developed, usually transparent and colourless to milky white (and often opalescent pseudo-orthorhombic crystals in fissures in crystalline schists, especially in the region of the Swiss Alps (from Adula Mts, St Gotthard massif, Ticino (Tessin), Switzerland; the type locality). Adularia displays pearly internal reflections. It typically has a relatively high content of barium. ‘Rainbow lattice sunstone’ is the trade name given to orthoclase that exhibits iridescence from hexagonal platelets of hematite on intersecting cleavage planes producing a criss-cross network of colour in addition to adularescence. The material, which is exceptionally rare, comes from the Harts Range about 60 to 70 miles NE of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory, Australia.

• Crystal system: Monoclinic
• Refractive index:  1.518–1.529; – 1.522–1.533; -1.522–1.539. Biaxial ve
• Birefringence: Weak; 0.005–0.010
• Pleochroism: Weak
• Density: 2.56 but has been reported in the range 2.55–2.63
• Hardness: Hardness on Mohs’ scale ranges from 6 to 6.5
• Dispersion: Low: 0.012
• Cleavage/fracture: Perfect prismatic cleavage in 2 directions at 90° to each other. Fracture is uneven, somewhat brittle
• Inclusions
• Optical effects: chatoyancy, asterism, color change, ADR: Yellow and colorless cat’s eye gems are known from Myanmar and Sri Lanka. Some Sri Lankan stones exhibit asterism. An undifferentiated dark brown K-feldspar (RI 1.52; SG 2.6) was reported to exhibit both asterism and chatoyancy. Yellow cat’s eye without adularescence has been reported.
• Absorption spectra (400–700 nm): Absorption spectra described for yellow orthoclase from Madagascar but the material is now known to be high to low sanidine
• Fluorescence: SWUV – commonly red or pink but white, whiteish green, pale green, greyish green, blue and orange have all been reported. LWUV – weak blue or cream. Occasionally weak-to-strong reddish orange under LWUV Simulant: An undifferentiated feldspar has been reported to be dyed blue in an attempt to simulate lapis lazuli. The dye could be easily seen in the cleavages and fractures.

Orthoclase: The Radiant Gemstone of Inner Strength and Harmony

Orthoclase, a mesmerizing member of the feldspar family, captivates with its luminous beauty and metaphysical properties. Originating from various geological formations worldwide, orthoclase has enchanted gemstone enthusiasts and spiritual practitioners alike. Let’s embark on a journey to explore the enchanting characteristics, historical significance, and the array of benefits that orthoclase offers.


Orthoclase belongs to the alkali feldspar group and is composed primarily of potassium, aluminum, and silicon, with trace elements contributing to its vibrant coloration. The gemstone typically forms in igneous and metamorphic rocks, with notable occurrences in granite, pegmatite, and gneiss formations.

One of the most striking features of orthoclase is its exquisite luster, which ranges from vitreous to pearly, enhancing its visual appeal when properly cut and polished. The gemstone’s color can vary widely, with common hues including white, gray, pink, yellow, and green. Orthoclase may exhibit pleochroism, displaying different colors when viewed from different angles, adding to its allure.

Orthoclase is valued for its durability, with a hardness ranging from 6 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale, making it suitable for use in jewelry and lapidary applications. When expertly cut and faceted, orthoclase reveals a radiant brilliance and clarity that rival more well-known gemstones.

History and Cultural Significance:

The name orthoclase is derived from the Greek words “orthos,” meaning “straight,” and “klasis,” meaning “break,” referring to its characteristic cleavage planes. The gemstone has been known since ancient times and has been used for various purposes throughout history. In ancient civilizations such as Egypt and Mesopotamia, orthoclase was prized for its beauty and symbolic significance, often representing strength, courage, and inner harmony.

In modern times, orthoclase continues to hold cultural significance in certain traditions and belief systems. Some cultures associate orthoclase with spiritual enlightenment and emotional healing, considering it a symbol of inner strength and resilience. Others believe that orthoclase can enhance intuition and psychic abilities, facilitating deeper insights and spiritual growth.

Benefits and Metaphysical Properties:

Orthoclase is revered for its metaphysical properties and is believed to offer a range of benefits to the wearer or user:

Emotional Healing: Orthoclase is said to promote emotional healing and inner harmony, helping individuals release stress, anxiety, and negative emotions. Its calming energy soothes the mind and spirit, fostering a sense of peace and tranquility amidst life’s challenges.

Strength and Resilience: Orthoclase is believed to enhance inner strength and resilience, empowering individuals to overcome obstacles and achieve their goals. Its stabilizing energy provides a sense of grounding and stability, helping individuals stay centered and balanced in times of uncertainty.

Spiritual Awakening: Orthoclase is said to facilitate spiritual awakening and enlightenment, guiding individuals on a journey of self-discovery and self-realization. Its uplifting energy connects individuals to higher realms of consciousness, fostering a deeper connection to the divine and the universe.

Physical Healing: While not widely recognized for its physical healing properties, some believe that orthoclase may have beneficial effects on the body, particularly in promoting overall health and vitality. It is also thought to support the immune system and aid in the treatment of ailments related to the bones, muscles, and nervous system.


Orthoclase stands as a testament to the Earth’s geological diversity and the profound connections between minerals and human consciousness. Whether admired for its radiant beauty or cherished for its metaphysical properties, orthoclase continues to captivate the hearts and minds of individuals around the world. Embrace the transformative power of orthoclase, a gemstone that embodies the harmonious union of inner strength, harmony, and enlightenment.

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